Friday, November 7, 2008

Budget Blasts, 11/6

The Milwaukee County Board’s Finance & Audit Committee, under the leadership of Supervisor Elizabeth M. Coggs, held its last meeting on the County Executive’s 2009 Recommended County Budget on Wednesday. The seven-member Committee met 11 times since the beginning of October to vote on a number of amendments to the budget. County Executive Scott Walker appeared at Wednesday’s meeting to share his thoughts on the amendments made thus far:

On Monday, the entire County Board held its annual Public Hearing on the County Executive’s 2009 Recommended Budget at the Washington Park Senior Center. Several hundred people attended. Approximately 60 individuals, primarily representing Milwaukee County skilled trades, parks, fleet and University Extension employees, provided testimony to the Board of

The County Board of Supervisors, under the leadership of Chairman Lee Holloway, will adopt the County’s 2009 budget on Monday, November 10 at 8:30 a.m. in Room 200 of the Courthouse. Any vetoes from the County Executive will be considered at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19th.

The amendments adopted by the Finance & Audit Committee include:
• County Clerk: Deny the abolishment of Assistant County Clerk position.
• County Executive: Give CEX the final decision on compensation for his Chief of Staff.
• Airport: Remove $500,000 for airport privatization and direct staff to provide a report on airport privatization and extension of Airport’s 25-year Master Lease agreement, set to expire September 30, 2010.
• UW-Extension: Restore funding for the Horticulture Helpline and relocate the University Extension Service to either the former Child and Adolescent Treatment Center (CATC) or a privately owned facility.
• Combined Court Related Operations: Restore funding for nine Legal Research Intern positions, nine positions of Clerical Assistant 1 and eight Deputy Court Clerk Judicial Assistant positions, deny the creation of nine Administrative Intern positions and deny the implementation of Universal Screening.
House of Correction: Add additional language on the proposed transfer of control of the House of Correction to the Sheriff, restore funding for four Correction Officer 1 positions, restore funding for a contract with Wisconsin Community Services for inmate job assessments, evaluate costs and benefits related to universal screening, and continue funding for the Farm and Fish Hatchery.
• Sheriff: Restore funding for three positions of Correctional Officer 1, evaluate costs and benefits related to the potential implementation of a universal screening initiative and continue funding for the Farm and Fish Hatchery and the Community Justice Resource Center.
• Fiscal Affairs Division: Transfer one position of Economic Development Coordinator and one position of Housing Program Analyst to the Department of Health and Human Services, deny the abolishment of one position of Housing and Program Analyst, abolish 1 DAS Budget Manager position and create 1 Grants Writer/Coordinator position in the Intergovernmental
Relations Division.
• DAS – IMSD Restore funding for seven positions, deny an appropriation for contracting IT services, deny the abolishment of one Business Systems Project Manager position, create one Business Analyst position and delete narrative language on a cooperative purchase with Racine County for joint partner Premier Workforce Solutions, instead referring the item to the Finance & Audit Committee.
• DAS – Property Management: Create one position of Principal Assistant Corporation Counsel, deny the creation of Associated Director-DAS Property Management and transferring the Real Estate positions into a new section of Corporation Counsel-Real Estate and Development.
• Department of Health and Human Services: Deny the outsourcing of Call Center and Customer Service functions within the Economic Support Division, provide $100,000 in Potawatomi Revenue to the Safe Alternatives for Youth program, and appropriate $60,000 for maintenance expenditures for the Milwaukee County Research Park.
Behavioral Health Division: Deny the abolishment of 13 FTEs in the Targeted Case Management unit, deny the abolishment of 2.0 FTE RN 1 positions and 55 Housekeeping FTEs.
• Milwaukee County Transit/Paratransit System: decrease the recommended Adult Cash Fare to $2.00, the Half Cash Fare to $1.00 and Half Fare Tickets to $1.00, and implement a monthly $60 pass.
• Parks: Restore 48 FTE and unfund 4 FTE Park Maintenance Worker 2 positions; maintain seasonal staff at the 2008 adopted level; deny the creation of 1.0 Clerical Specialist, 9.21 FTE Park Worker 2 (Seas) and 4.61 FTE Horticulturalist I (seas) positions; deny the consolidation of the King and Kosciuszko Community Centers by restoring 2.0 FTE Community Center Manager positions; restore the positions of 1.0 FTE Office Assistant 3 position, 1.0 FTE Special Events Coordinator position, 1.0 FTE Horticulturalist 1 position, 1.62 FTE Horticulturalist 2 (seas) positions and 1.0 FTE Parks Artist position; create one position of Parks Marketing Public Relations Coordinator and one position of Parks Marketing Assistant; abolish the vacant position of Landscape Architect 2 and create a position of Chief of Administration; increase funding for Capital Outlay to $502,000; provide more County Board oversight of privatizing Parks
Department concessions operations; provide a maximum fee increase of 10%; decrease green fees and McKinley Board launch and Slip Fees by 12.5% for a total increase of 3.5%; provide $25,000 to both the King and Kosciuszko Community Centers for recreation and/or exercise equipment and deny the installation of parking meters along Lincoln Memorial Drive, increase
expenditures for the operation of Hales Corners Pool in 2009, increase contract revenues for the operation of the O’Donnell Parking Structure, increase general obligation bonding by $14,000 for the surfacing of the golf cart pathways at the Brown Deer Park Golf Course.
Fleet Management: Deny the outsourcing of fleet maintenance operations and restoring necessary appropriations and departmental crosscharges and denying the outsourcing of right-of-way mowing services and pavement marking services.
Child Support Enforcement: Restore funding for one Child Support Specialist, one Paralegal Child Support B/L, three Paralegal Child Support positions and .5 FTE Legal Counsel Child Support
• Restore all skilled trades positions.
• Deny the transfer of the DTPW – Facilities Management Division to the DAS Property Management Division.
• Create a new capital improvements project relating to the repair of the Estabrook Dam.
• Provide $1,000,000 in capital improvements funding for the Special Needs Housing Program financed with a loan from the State Trust Fund Loan Program.
• Deny an ordinance change in reference to the installation of parking meters along Lincoln Memorial Drive.

On Wednesday, the following additional amendments to the 2009 Budget were approved by the Committee on the following votes:
• 6-1 (No Schmitt) to allocate $150,000 for a Summer Youth Employment program.
• 7-0 to add language addressing potential layoffs and placement services for affected employees.
• 7-0 to amend the Offset to Internal Service Charges to reflect actions taken by the Finance Committee.
• 7-0 to increase Land Sales revenue by $150,000 and appropriated to the Economic and Community Development Reserve Fund.
• 5-2 (No Schmitt, Jursik) to restore Route 11 from 60th/Vliet to downtown.
• 5-2 (No Schmitt, Jursik) to increase transit expenditures by $55,000 for the local share of a Federal grant to continue operation of the Canal Street bus route (Route 17) through December 2009.
• 7-0 to decrease the recommended Transit Adult Cash Fare to $2.00, the Half Cash Fare to $1.00 and Half Fare Tickets to $1.00, offset by increasing CMO revenues for transit service and decreasing Transit/Paratransit fuel expenditures.
• 7-0 to transfer the Facilities Operations Section of the Property Management Division to DTPW and rename it the Facilities Management Division, and transferring the Real Estate Services Section to the DTPW-Director’s Office.
• 6-1 (No Johnson) to transition GAMP clients to BadgerCare plus – Childless Adults as of January 1, 2009.
• 4-3 (Noes Schmitt, West, Jursik) to increase revenues by $50,000 to be used for operation of America’s Black Holocaust Museum.
• 4-2 (No Schmitt, Jursik, Excused West) to increase general obligation bonding by $450,000 for the reconstruction of the Lion’s Bridge that is failing.
• 6-0 (West Excused) to increase State Computer Aid revenues.
• 4-3 (Noes Thomas, West, Jursik) to add a new capital improvement project for the construction of a new Behavioral Health Division facility.

At the end of Wednesday’s meeting, the Committee voted 5-1 (No Schmitt, Excused West) to approve the property tax levy. The Committee then voted 5-1 (No Schmitt, Excused West) to approve the amended 2009 Budget.

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